Thursday, 29 January 2009

See You in Court

I am following the High Court hearings against Christine Laird, Cheltenham's former Chief Executive, with great interest. Ms Laird is being sued by her former employers for £750,000. Cheltenham claims she falsified her CV in order to get the job - some people in County Hall Taunton have muttered darkly about my qualifications too, but as anyone at the Universities of Kent and Liverpool will avow my Masters degrees are totally correct. And Plymouth University will confirm I am still a familiar face among the qualified expert staff there. In Cheltenham, however, the council is also angry at the amount of time Ms Laird took off (on full pay of course) when relationships between her and the council's ruling Liberal Democrats reached a low ebb. In fact Ms Laird was brave enough to report more than a score of allegations against the Council leader to the Standards Board. It takes true grit for a Chief Executive to face up to a politician and I should know. Stress is a real and enduring condition for we men and women at the top. It deserves proper recompense. I am therefore throwing my weight behind the raven-haired Ms Laird. I believe that Chief Executives forced out of office by small minded politicians deserve every penny they can extract. Good on her and she is welcome on my team at any stage. I have already consulted her on the advisability of Cheltenham joining the super soaraway success story that is SouthWest One. Fingers crossed!


Anonymous said...

And, what a coincidence Cheltenham's unique quest for justice is being led by our very own former County Legal Bod - Andrew North! Needless to say if Andrew had stayed in Somerset you would not be where you are today, and we would not be in the mess you've got us into!

Anonymous said...

Spare a thought for the ratepayers of Cheltenham who will be funding this nonsense, win or lose. We had no choice in this matter, and as 'anonymous' would appear to live in Somerset I take exception to he or she calling this case a 'quest for justice'.
We all complain about the council where we live, and I do not know what the problems are in Somerset, but Cheltenham has £11m in Iceland, is selling town assets at a knock down price and will invest the money! yes honestly! - is pursuing a clumsy redevelopment scheme (without support of the Highway Authority) that will involve the sale of more council owned land and property, when a re-think is needed in this financial climate.

Anonymous said...


But we lost £25 million in Iceland!

And normally we don't complain about our councils in Somerset - it's one of Alan's innovations.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how sincere the 'sorry' is - sarcastic is nearer I believe. The £11m is Cheltenham Borough alone - not the whole County!! Gloucestershire County Council has its own pot of money in Iceland. I'm not sure if you have a particular dislike for Alan Jones or admire Mr North, but the fact that Andrew North is a 'legal Bod' may explain why this action is being taken. He must be so excited being at the High Courts of Justice, but it is Cheltenham's resources he is using as a toy box.
Perhaps we would both be happier if he had stayed in Somerset!

Sorry Cheltenham said...

The "sorry" is genuine.

Which does not mean that we would not welcome a "quest for justice" against Alan Jones.

There are plenty of blogs around which give the details - try the links from

Anonymous said...

Ok, Ok! At least it would seem the 'personality' of Alan Jones has stirred the 'people' to revolt - if only in blogs - unlike here where it is impossible to get any of the 'people' to show any interest whatsoever. Just because we do not have an obvious villain does not mean that the decisions being taken are any better. Perhaps I should have said we all have cause to complain about our council - but resistance is futile!All power in your quest for justice.

Roger that! said...

Thanks folks!